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Importing Illustrator elements into Cinema 4D

From: CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

Video: Importing Illustrator elements into Cinema 4D

We've created our elements in Adobe Illustrator and now we need to bring them into CINEMA 4D. And the process is really very straightforward. I am going to go to the Object Manager File menu and do something called Merge Object. And Merge Object allows us to load in not just Adobe Illustrator files, but also project files and other CINEMA 4D generated elements too. I'll navigate to the Exercise Files Chapter 3. Remember there is two Adobe Illustrator folders in here. And the reason for that is we have one AI-For-C4D file that was provided along with the project files and this lesson_ai_4c4d folder that I created in the previous chapter.

Importing Illustrator elements into Cinema 4D

We've created our elements in Adobe Illustrator and now we need to bring them into CINEMA 4D. And the process is really very straightforward. I am going to go to the Object Manager File menu and do something called Merge Object. And Merge Object allows us to load in not just Adobe Illustrator files, but also project files and other CINEMA 4D generated elements too. I'll navigate to the Exercise Files Chapter 3. Remember there is two Adobe Illustrator folders in here. And the reason for that is we have one AI-For-C4D file that was provided along with the project files and this lesson_ai_4c4d folder that I created in the previous chapter.

There is no difference between the files in here so I am going to work from the lesson_ai_4c4d folder. Let's start off with the Shark Zone type. So I grab the Shark Zone type Illustrator file and hit Open. And I'm presented with a secondary screen. And this secondary screen is asking two options. Should I scale the Illustrator files or should I connect the splines? And in both cases I am going to say no, I want to leave them as the default. And so I hit OK. Now you'll notice that my Shark Zone type did not jump to the center of the world like it was supposed to. We are working in a version of Adobe CS5 Illustrator that is an early version.

And this is a behavior that is peculiar to that version and we are hoping that it will change with subsequent versions. If you're working in Adobe Illustrator CS4 or CS3 or any other version of Illustrator the behavior will be correct, and your Shark Zone type will jump to center the world right here. So if you're working in CS5 all you need to do to fix this is just select the Shark Zone type here in the Object Manager and go to the Coordinate properties in the Attribute Manager. And then in the position fields let's zero this out. So I highlight that text and go zero and hit the Tab key and zero and then Tab one more time.

And then you'll see my Shark Zone type jump to center the world. And now if I hit the letter H, I can frame up my type and now I'm looking at it much more closely. Now splines in CINEMA 4D do not render, and so we need to do something called an extrusion. And there is a special object for that and in the main toolbar here at the top of the window I am going to click on the Nurb Objects and add something called an Extrude Nurb. Now the Extrude Nurb has a green icon that means it's a generator. And a generator object needs to have children in order to produce some sort of result.

So I'll take my Shark Zone type and add it as a child of the Extrude Nurb. Now when I do this initially nothing happens. You see nothing changed in my screen here. And that's because the Extrude Nurb doesn't know that the sharkzone Null Object here has all of these different splines underneath it. You can see that there is a separate spline for each one of the letters of the words Shark Zone. So I have to tell the Extrude Nurb to look pass this Null and extrude each of these splines. And there is a very special button to do that. Underneath the Extrude Nurb you go to the Object properties and there is a field called Hierarchical.

Hierarchical, when you click it, forces the Extrude Nurb to look past that Null object and see all of the individual splines. You can see now my Shark Zone tpye is extruded. And if I hit Command+R on the keyboard my Shark Zone will be rendered in the scene. When I create type in CINEMA 4D, even though bevel type is going out of style from a design standpoint, I still like to add a little bit of a bevel to my type elements. The reason for that is when you render a 3-D extruded type you can see that the edges on the type have a very sharp line to them.

And that sharp line makes them feel computer-generated. If I go to the Extrude Nurb and select it here in the Object Manager and it redraws the frame for me automatically. If I go to the Caps and under the Caps options I am add something called a Fillet and a Cap. And the Fillet is a fancy word for a bevel. And I add a Fillet on the front and I'll add a Fillet on the back so that my front and back of the type match up. If I orbit around you can see there is a bevel on the back. That bevel is way too thick so I'm going to adjust the Radius down and make it approximately, let's make it 1 and then 1 on the back side as well.

Now you can see I have a much more finely shaped bevel. And let's add just one more Step to it. Now the Step controls how many polygons are on the edge of this. If I zoom in very close on this type you can see that, let's backup just a bit, there you go. We have a very linear transition from the face of the type here to the edge of the type here. And when I adjust the Steps and I change that to something like 3, you'll see that it's a little bit round. And that roundness translates into a much more smooth transition from the side of the type to the face of the type.

I hit the letter H on the keyboard to frame up my Shark Zone type. And I'll do another rendering, Command+R. And you will be able to see a slight difference between the type elements in the previous frame. And you can see a very nice highlight on the edge. And even though our type doesn't look beveled in the traditional sense, that beveling on the edge picks up light and gives our type a much more organic and interesting look. Now our type is very thin and we want to have a very thick element for our animation. Under the Extrude Nurb, I'll go to the Object properties and change the Z Movement.

The Z Movement controls how far the type extrudes along the z-axis. So I highlight this 20 units here. Let's make this about 100 units. And we may change that in the final file. But it's easy to change. This number remains live and we can change it at any time. Now my Shark Zone type is going to be sitting flush on the ground plane in the finished animation. So I want to take this Extrude Nurb and move it up on the y-axis so that it is flush with the ground plane. And I'll switch to the four-way view and I'll click on the Layout button here and switch to a four-way view.

So I can see my objects from both the Perspective View and each of the Orthographic views. That makes it really easy to identify where the bottom of the type is. So I'll line this up with the bottom of the ground plane. Let's zoom in just a bit here in the right-hand view and make sure. Now I can bring this right-hand view full-screen by clicking on that button right there. And that makes it much easier to center things up and line things up with the ground plane. So you can see right now the z-axis here is actually the floor and my type element is lined up with it.

So let's save this file, File > Save As. And we will call this sharkzone.c4d. Now we need to repeat this process for the Adventure Channel logo. I'll make a new document. File > New. And go to Object Manager, File menu, do a Merge Object. And under the lesson_ai_4c4d I'll grab the aclogo.ai file and hit Open. Remember we can leave these settings at the default and hit OK. This file element was generated inside of CS5 so I need to re-center this type up.

Go to Coordinate properties and zero out the position again. 0, 0, 0. I am just tabbing through those fields. And now I need to extrude it. So let's grab another Extrude Nurb. So I click on the Nurb Objects and go to Extrude Nurb, add the aclogo as a child of the Extrude Nurb, and then in the Extrude Nurb I have to tell it to look down at all these different paths that are under there. So I go to the Object properties and click the Hierarchical button and there is my extruded type. And now I can add another beveling to the edges.

So I go to the Caps property on the Extrude Nurb and under the Caps property I am going to select Fillet and Cap for both the Start and End caps. And that's way too thick. So I change that Radius to 1, use the Tab key to get through those fields and click 1 for the second Radius. And then let's add 3 Steps just like we did on the type. So 3 in this Steps field there and tab through and 3 in the Steps field there for the End Cap. Now let's just zoom in real quick and just double check things.

And that is looking pretty good. So let's save this logo element and the thickness I think on it is just fine. And once again we may end up adjusting this when we do finished animation but for now it's fine. And we can always go back to the Object property and change the Z Movement if we need to. So let's go File > Save As and call this one aclogo.c4d and save it. So now we've got our type elements all created. And we are in really good shape for the basic elements for cameramatic.

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This video is part of

Image for CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo
CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

70 video lessons · 13609 viewers

Rob Garrott
Author

 
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  1. 5m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
    3. Overview of the project template
      2m 37s
  2. 11m 12s
    1. Creative brief
      1m 57s
    2. Sketches and script
      3m 8s
    3. Understanding the graphic animation process
      6m 7s
  3. 25m 5s
    1. Understanding the animatic process
      2m 15s
    2. Importing sketches into After Effects
      6m 20s
    3. Timing out the animation
      10m 4s
    4. Adding onscreen timecode for reference
      6m 26s
  4. 40m 2s
    1. Creating text and logo elements in Adobe Illustrator
      6m 44s
    2. Importing Illustrator elements into Cinema 4D
      8m 24s
    3. Creating guide planes for modeling a rough shark
      6m 13s
    4. Creating a rough shark model
      12m 14s
    5. Preparing a dummy rig using a Spline Wrap object
      6m 27s
  5. 53m 17s
    1. Setting up a project file for the cameramatic
      6m 15s
    2. Animating the rough shark using the Spline Wrap object
      5m 14s
    3. Animating the camera
      6m 8s
    4. Duplicating an animated rough model to create a school of sharks
      11m 4s
    5. Creating a preview movie and importing it into After Effects
      5m 45s
    6. Assembling the cameramatic
      8m 34s
    7. Fine-tuning the cameramatic timing
      10m 17s
  6. 1h 9m
    1. Preparing for the modeling process
      6m 7s
    2. Outlining the shapes using the Knife tool
      9m 50s
    3. Creating the mouth using the Extrude tool
      10m 40s
    4. Adding eyes using the Symmetry object
      9m 57s
    5. Creating fins using the Extrude tool
      7m 11s
    6. Creating the tail and dorsal fins using the Extrude tool
      10m 38s
    7. Creating gums using the Symmetry object
      6m 45s
    8. Creating teeth and finalizing the model
      8m 6s
  7. 15m 5s
    1. Understanding the rigging process
      2m 0s
    2. Opening the shark mouth using the Morph tag
      5m 9s
    3. Using XPresso to link the jaw to the Morph animation
      7m 56s
  8. 33m 25s
    1. Using BodyPaint to prepare the model for texturing
      8m 22s
    2. Applying color to the shark using BodyPaint
      6m 45s
    3. Giving the shark character by painting in the diffusion channel
      5m 29s
    4. Roughing the surface using the bump channel
      4m 34s
    5. Texturing the eyes
      3m 51s
    6. Texturing the teeth and gums
      4m 24s
  9. 21m 24s
    1. Replacing the rough shark model in the intro shot with the finished model
      6m 47s
    2. Replacing the rough shark model in the transition shot
      3m 43s
    3. Replacing the rough shark model in the hero shot
      4m 28s
    4. Replacing the rough shark model in the end page shot
      3m 42s
    5. Updating the cameramatic with the final animation
      2m 44s
  10. 50m 27s
    1. Creating an underwater look using Global Illumination and atmosphere
      9m 47s
    2. Lighting the objects and creating shadows
      6m 54s
    3. Shading the text using materials
      6m 28s
    4. Creating a reflective floor for the underwater scene
      3m 58s
    5. Lighting shot 1: Copying and pasting a lighting setup from another project
      5m 49s
    6. Lighting shot 2: Pasting a lighting setup and making adjustments
      3m 57s
    7. Lighting shot 4: Separate elements in a shot (the shark)
      3m 13s
    8. Lighting shot 4: Separate elements in a shot (the text)
      10m 21s
  11. 22m 7s
    1. Preparing shot 1 for rendering to After Effects
      6m 20s
    2. Preparing shot 2 for rendering by saving and using render presets
      4m 45s
    3. Preparing shot 3 for rendering
      2m 37s
    4. Setting up shot 4 to render in two passes
      4m 4s
    5. Performing a preflight check to ensure clips are ready to render
      2m 9s
    6. Batch-rendering
      2m 12s
  12. 1h 13m
    1. Importing assets and setting up the After Effects project for final compositing
      6m 5s
    2. The intro shot: Using Photoshop elements and noise effects to add atmosphere
      8m 38s
    3. The intro shot: Compositing in stock video footage to add character
      4m 51s
    4. The intro shot: Adding text elements to the composite
      8m 32s
    5. The hero shot: Controlling the look using precomps
      7m 59s
    6. The hero shot: Using stock video footage to add character
      7m 19s
    7. The end page shot: Combining multiple passes to form a final composite shot
      2m 41s
    8. The end page shot: Adding text elements to the composite
      7m 44s
    9. Compositing the transition shots
      3m 47s
    10. Assembling the final composition
      9m 2s
    11. Adding the final audio to the composition and rendering
      7m 10s
  13. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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